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THE SHIPOWNER AND MERCHANT                      9

In support of this pressure, which may at first sight
appear arbitrary, it may be stated that since the ship-
owner operates a service of good vessels with regularity
irrespective of good or bad trade, if a vessel of an opposi-
tion owner is placed in competition at a lower rate of
freight to secure occasional business, he should not suffer
by this casual opposition in order that the shipper may
sometimes be a few shillings better off.

Whilst the shipping conferences set rates and compile
tariffs for the trades in which they deal, they are always
willing to consider the case when a rate may appear to be
strangling the endeavours of a merchant in securing busi-
ness in a foreign market. If for example a merchant finds
that, with the cost of his article plus the freight charged,
he is, for a few pence per article unable to compete with
foreign merchants, then, by application to the conference
of that particular trade, he may, on proving that by a
reduction of freight rates he can be assured of obtaining a
ready sale, secure a suitable reduction in rate, provided he
can assure the conference of his ability to ship an assured

In addition to the foregoing, where a line is being run
under conference agreement, the shipper is able to quote
rates for forward shipments, knowing the cost of trans-
portation, and has no fear that he will suffer loss in this

The shipping companies also provide co-ordination with
the shippers by the provision of additional departments for
the purpose of forwarding and insurance, thus not only
supplementing their own profit by increased business, but
also giving to the shipper the advantage that if he so
desires he may cany out the whole of his forwarding busi-
ness through one organization. The shipper knows that
here is a qualified and well organized staff ready at his
bidding to arrange the shipment of his goods, see to the
whole of the forwarding, insure the goods under the best
cover at the most reasonable rate, and carry out any other
duties he may desire.